In his 2005 Stanford commencement speech, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs touched on his life story and the lessons he learned along the way. Here are some of the highlights that he imparted upon us for business and life:
1. Don’t be afraid to fail
” I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” Being an entrepreneur is taking a major risk. Like Jobs and Steve Wozniak, sinking your own money to create a start-up that you may ultimately walk away from is intimidating and disheartening to say the least. This translates to the larger picture: don’t let fear of failure, or failure itself stop you from moving forward.
2. If you aren’t happy what you’re doing, move on to something else
" ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” Why waste time on a business, project, or relationship that isn’t fulfilling? If your heart and mind aren’t in it, it will reflect in your work and more importantly, your life.
3. Trust that it will work out
Wandering and Discovery aren’t always as aimless as they seem. Jobs said “Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on...Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” So, go back to school, move across the country or change industries. Trust your intuition.
4. Love what you do
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle. “ I think too many of us get caught up in money, money, money. Eat. Work. Sleep. Repeat. Don’t let the bottom line dictate things for you. If you’re focused on profit margins, working 90 hour weeks, but you don’t feel satisfied, maybe you don’t love what you do. And that’s ok. But as humans with a mortal time-line, we deserve to spend our days doing what we love, or at least, be in pursuit of it.
5. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Dreams
“There is no reason not to follow your heart. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Luckily for us and the rest of the world, Jobs practiced what he preached. His willingness to start over, take risks, push technology further and stay true to himself left the world with a lasting legacy that I for one, am grateful for.
"Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish." Steve Jobs-- February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011